We trust machines to make decisions for us, why wouldn’t we trust a “machine” like our brain that is capable of far more complex deductions?
In a time where data is taking over every aspect of our lives, trusting the “gut” seems like an old-fashioned and anti-scientific way of making decisions. Yet, despite the great advantages that artificial intelligence is bringing to us, I think there is still a place where humans will continue to be superior to algorithms. Indeed, the “gut” is the place where humans can sense and know without a shadow of a doubt when something is out of order, positively or negatively, without empirical evidence to back it up.
I don’t think of the gut as something super-natural, exotic, and anti-scientific. I think it is actually the result of millions of inputs over the course of many years that have created a filter through which we can interpret new information, recognize patterns, and identify divergences. The ability of our brain to receive, store, and organize those inputs is incredibly complex, way more intricate and nuanced than a super-computer. On top of the raw data, we are capable of adding emotions to them, which are like the fertilizer needed to strengthen the development of an idea. Sure, sometimes our gut provides information that is incorrect, but haven’t weather algorithms missed a forecast every now and then?
The effectiveness of the gut is directly correlated to the amount of inputs received. A mother is the best person to identify the needs of her own child. An aunt might have a good guess, she might also have a “gut feeling”, but if the aunt hasn’t been around the child as much as the mother, her gut isn’t as effective.
In trading, I have noticed that my ability to sense how new information influences a particular market has gotten more and more effective with each season that goes by. Most of the information we receive is just noise. Yet, it is difficult to filter it out if you haven’t been at it for a few years and have built that gut filter. This is among the reasons why it is wise to listen to those who have gone ahead of us. There is no replacement of experience. Trust your gut when you know that you have accumulated significant experience on the matter to be decided. Your brain is a fantastic “machine” and you will do a disservice to yourself if you ignore its signals.
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